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Paintwork - How to Clean 13 years 10 months ago #3113

  • kara's Avatar Topic Author
  • kara
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The following guide I've followed on numerous occasions now and have found it produces the best results to keeping your MG sparkling!

What you'll need:

  • Two Buckets
  • Wash Mitt
  • Car Shampoo or Wash and Wax
  • Car Polish
  • Car Wax
  • Application Sponge
  • 2 x Microfibre cloths
  • Wheel Cleaner
  • Wheel Brush
  • Tyre Dressing
  • Paint brush
  • Body Brush (soft & designed not to scratch but still tough on dirt)

The process:

  • Begin by rinsing your MG all over with just good ol' water - this helps get rid of any loose dirt, grass etc. and also softens the remaining dirt so that it comes off more easily with a mitt rather than scrubbing hard at your paintwork.
  • Mix up your shampoo - make sure your read the instructions and don't over dilute it! You may think your saving money but in fact you're just lessening the effect of the of the product you're using and you won't get your MG as clean. Conversley, not diluting enough will produce streaks which are a pain to remove.
  • Fill a bucket with clean water - you will use this bucket to rinse the dirt off your mitt rather than sticking it back in your nice clean shampoo bucket. Also helps reduce the risk of swirl marks.
  • Start at the front and work your way back - normally at this point the advice is to start using your microfibre mitt on the top of the car and work your way down. However, being convertible owners we don't really want to wash and wax our softops! So I start at the front of the car, washing the bonnet, front wings and front bumper. Next, wash the doors and wing mirrors and finally the bootlid, rear quarter panels and rear bumper.
  • Tackle persistent dirt - use your soft body brush to tackle more stubborn dirt that can usually be found on an F/TF under the wheel arch, the inside door frames and the bottom sills.
  • Rinse - always rinse twice to ensure you remove all residue.
  • Dry with a microfibre cloth
  • Polish - Polish should always be applied liberally. Apply it to your application sponge rather than directly to your body work. Do not scrub or push down hard on the sponge as you risk damaging the paintwork. Avoid getting polish on plastic trim such as the scuttle tray as it can stain. Remove polish with a microfibre cloth. If polish has gotten into any nooks or crannies you can't reach then you can use a paintbrush to reach those areas.
  • Waxing - waxing provides a layer of defence against the dirt & rain and consequently helps protect your paintwork. Unless otherwise stated leave the wax to dry and then clean off using a damp microfibre cloth. The protection wax provides lasts a long time and only needs repeating every couple of months.
  • Tyres & Alloys - Tyres imho should always be the last thing that you do. This is because if you do them first then when you clean your MG all the dirty water is just pouring over your nice sparkly alloys. Begin by using your alloy cleaner - follow the instuctions on the product - usually you spray it on, wait for a certain amount of time then agitate the dirt with a wheel brush then rinse and repeat this time with just clean water instead of wheel cleaner. A couple of points to note are you don't need to use a specific wheel brush - any brush will do. I use a toilet brush (unused!). The only reason to use a wheel brush is that they are generally better for certain shaped alloys. Also because most alloy wheel cleaners are acidic avoid any overspray onto your paintwork. Next use you tyre dressing and if you have a light coloured driveway then it can be worth laying down some newspaper around the wheels so it doesn't stain your drive!
  • Stand back & enjoy the results!

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Last edit: Post by David Aiketgate.
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